Ja Rule

Album Review: Ja Rule’s “Icon”

‘Icon’ is a word that should not be used lightly. Michael Jackson is an icon. Jay-Z is an icon. Jimi Hendrix is an icon. Paul McCartney is an icon. Ja Rule’s latest Greatest Hits/mixtape project is entitled, Icon. The New York-bred artist was once at the forefront of the Hip-Hop genre, but his fall from grace has been one of the most dramatic and well-documented we’ve ever seen. This latest release, however, brings former listeners right back into Ja Rule’s golden years.

Just three seconds into the lively horns from Livin’ It Up, and the listener is instantly thrown back into the ‘Jiggy Era’ of rap. To be honest, it’s hard not to smile while listening to this summer anthem. Put It On Me is the same way, as the high-chimed instrumental rings in a place inside your eardrum that had been picking up dust for awhile.

Speaking of not doing anything for a while, Ashanti is featured on three of these tracks (Mesmerize, Wonderful, and Always On Time”), which really gets you to thinking where the time has gone. Ja’s chemistry with Ashanti was amazing, and the ease with which he made crossover hits was astounding. Listening to them now, it’s difficult to not think them as corny; people complain about Drake singing, but Ja Rule carrying notes is chuckle-inducing. The fast tinged Between Me & You (which features Christina Millian, another ‘I remember!’ moment) is a great example of this.

For a good while, however, Ja Rule was able to walk the fine line between soft duets and street-anthems. Holla Holla” was his first big hit, establishing his signature “MURRRRDDDAAAA” mantra, and New York,” which featured Jadakiss and Fat Joe, was a huge hit for everyone on the East Coast.

It’s the beginning of “Thug Lovin” that features Bobby Brown (That takes the cake!) that brings back memories of his downfall and this review to an end. As he clamors about not having to worry about certain “clowns” throwing shots at him, Ja Rule had every reason to be concerned. He’s far from an “icon,” but the Murder Inc. representative certainly had his run. If anything, this release is just a reminder of his glory days – something no amount of jokes can take away from him. And if it means anything, 50 Cent continues to have his own musical issues with his label, so maybe that’s just karma. Regardless, this may be the last hurrah for Ja.

  • Well he has a new album coming out Feb 28th – PIL2, so Icon is far from the final hurrah

  • armylove0221

    How is ashanti corny you homo

  • rep87

    JA had his time /50 crushed him back in the day with one blow and it was over /no coming back only because his time is up he should produce acts/ 50 time is up and its eating him up his label know and very soon if he doesnt walk away from the label they will drop him

    • a b

      Realest talk…. and Ja is my niqqa!

      • rep87

        nothing personal both those dudes time is up in the game rap game is fickle ass hell as kids get older they latch on to the next hot thang and it aint these two

      • BangtotheBoogie

        The game is definitely fickle, but here’s were I disagree. Young kids don’t controll the media. The kids eat what they feed them. So, really the issue is more can any of the older artists revive their fanbase enough to get media to have to budge and in turn, bring in the younger generation. Many pieces to the puzzle.

    • Do your homework. 50 declared he finished Ja’s career but Ja came out with R.U.L.E. after the beef and went platinum. Murder Inc was being investigated on charges of money laundering and that’s why Ja took time out after that. 50 can’t sell records these days because his songs are awful and nobody’s interested. He’s only had 4 albums and he’s basically done. Ja had 6…the last of which went platinum and spawned the UK #1 hit Wonderful and the street anthem New York. People were still feeling Ja after the beef – mitigating circumstances have had him out of the limelight.

  • youtube a track called ‘Parachute’ and ul see JA’s time is far from up

    • I heard that Track too, I was suprised it’s really nice.

    • Real next level hip-hop right there.

  • overlooked

    ja is an icon and he still has greatness to offer free rule

    • Apollo Showtime

      I wouldn’t say he’s an Icon, but he definitely left his mark in the game, NO ONE wants to be like Ja Rule, just rich like Ja Rule, lol.

      • His albums are iconic and begat tens of iconic hits. A lot’s happened in rap since the late 90’s but his influence is undeniable.

  • Giga Lopez


    • BangtotheBoogie

      Definitely coming with heat. Some people don’t want to accept it or even hear it. But so many that aren’t even really rooting for him, are saying they can’t even hate on it. It’s banging. #PIL2  2.28.2012.

  • I though 50 got rid of this lamo!

    • BangtotheBoogie

      I bet you think you’re clever for using that dumbass cliche? Come on miss. Tell me what you know about any of that shit,

      • She ain’t got shit.

  • daveofthematthews

    The Ja Rule situation proves nothing but goes to show how easily led and how small minded so many hip hop fans are now days, And i guess how easily media outlets are able to influence people’s opinion. Although i did not like some of the reckless talk that was coming from Ja’s camp back in the day 50 was talking just as reckless, it was crazy how many people turned on Ja just because 50 said so because everyone was so sure 50 was the next big thing, I often wonder if the fans of other genre’s of music would be so quick to treat a big contributing artist of the past to the music they claim they love with such little respect, Probably not and that say’s more about the Hip Hop fan than it does Ja Rule!

    • realest post on here 

      • BangtotheBoogie


    • Dale Marsh

      This guy talks common sense!!!

    • BangtotheBoogie

      Man, that’s it right there. I can’t beleive how little people think for themselves and let media or others just control them like puppets. Most that keep rehashing that beef with 50, don’t even know what that shit was really about. They just jump on the hate bandwagon, like it makes them cool or something. Retarded.

      • daveofthematthews

        I very much agree with you and wish people took a bit more pride in making their own mind up rather than have an opinion dictated to them by others, At the end of the day the music should talk for itself and no one can take away what Ja Rule managed to accomplish in terms of music sales and hit records. Before the 50 Cent nonsense he was doing hip hop proud, personally i am a bigger fan of people like Crooked I than Ja Rule but i can still appreciate good music.

  • eduawr

    the rules is back pian is love2 

  • Apollo Showtime

    He’s a DEF JAM “Icon” but not an ICON

    • I agree. He is not an Icon like the ones they counted. But for people who listen to rap he is an ICON. Maybe he will be one day.

    • He’s a rap icon, as Gokmen said.

  • i think ja rule is a icon personally and although this is a dope album to remind people of rules hits its nothing compared to his new album scheduled for release feb 28th ‘Pain Is Love 2’ bout to be a classic so i wouldn’t say its jas last hurrah

    • He’s on a whole ‘nother level now.

  • MironiD

    He’s an incredible artist!!! 
    Pil 2 in stores 2.28.12

    • Phillyflatliner


      • Watch this space.

  • Dale Marsh

    Each song on Ja Rule’s 11-track Icon anthology reached the Top 11 of Billboard’s R&B Singles chart.  Ja Rule got Skills glad he is back… get that Pain is Love 2 28th Feb 2012

  • well ya’ll can say all the negative things you want now, keep on blabbing ya’ll. Juss wait till PIL2 drops on 28th Feb, 2012, act like you never heard him before, juss view him as lil and watch him dash ya ICON like he never existed 

  • A showcase of platinum rap anthems. Free Ja Rule.

    • Phillyflatliner

      Yeah, stay living in the past, that’s all you got. LOL.

      • No. PIL 2 coming February 28th. Future.

      • Dale Marsh

        Oh yeah i see the future too… get of the dick Phillyeyeliner

  • Last hurrah? Jon Garcia Obviously doesn’t know Ja like us Loyal Fans do. This man has been silent but at his best! New Album entitled PIL2 comes out February 28th 2012.. Be on the lookout for that.

  • Phillyflatliner

    YO ICON???!!!! I-C-O-N??!!! if he puts the words “AM A” in between the I and the C, that would be right.

    • Everybody put your hands together for Ja Rule’s biggest fan! This guy just cannot stop talking about him lol.